Ohio State guard D.J. Carton (3) fires a fade-a-way shot over Minnesota Gophers center Daniel Oturu (25) in the second half of an NCAA Men’s basketball game at Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Sunday Dec. 15, 2019. The Gophers beat Ohio State, 84-71. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

1) Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes had a chance to become the number one team in the country until a loss at Minnesota. The schedule over the next week or so will tell us exactly how good the Buckeyes are.

2) Michigan State Spartans

Inconsistent shooting has hurt the Spartans early in this season, but a 2-0 start in the Big Ten gives them a nice start to the conference season.

3) Penn State Nittany Lions

The Lions, coached by Pat Chambers, have gotten off to a strong start and a win over Maryland makes them look like a legit contender early on.

4) Maryland Terrapins

If the Terrapins can avoid the slow starts that have troubled them early on they should be fine.

5) Michigan Wolverines

After a hot start and some huge wins the Wolverines have lost three of their last four, but two of those were to Louisville and Oregon.

6) Indiana Hoosiers

A weak non-conference schedule has been offset as of late by wins over Florida State and Connecticut. The Hoosiers still have a lot of questions to answer and some health concerns, but this looks like a better team than the last two years.

7) Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes have played a fairly tough schedule early on and that includes four wins against top-65 teams according to Ken Pom.

8) Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illini own a win over Michigan and if they don’t blow a big lead at Maryland they would rank much higher than this.

9) Purdue Boilermakers

The Boilers blew out Virginia and beat VCU, and then you have a blowout loss to Nebraska.

10) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers has been a surprise team so far with wins over Wisconsin and Seton Hall.

11) Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Gophers beat Ohio State but the rest of the season has been uneven and leaves a lot of questions yet to be answered.

12) Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers are a good team as long as they are playing at home.

13) Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Cornhuskers look like a team that is ever-improving.

14) Northwestern Wildcats

The Wildcats are young and early non-conference losses to Merrimack and Radford painfully shows that.